The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it will not charge the anonymous U.S. Capitol officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6
The decision follows what the department is calling a “thorough investigation of Ms. Babbitt’s shooting.” After reviewing video footage, social media posts, officer statements, witness accounts, evidence from the scene, and an autopsy report, federal officials claimed “there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution” over the death of the 14-year Air Force veteran.
The DOJ’s press release, which refused to name the officer who shot Babbitt, also stated federal prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that “the officer acted willfully to deprive Ms. Babbitt of a right protected by the Constitution or other law.”
Instead of unreasonably shooting Babbitt, federal officials said the officer could have acted “out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent required under Section 242.”
“Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber,” the release noted. “Acknowledging the tragic loss of life and offering condolences to Ms. Babbitt’s family, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice have therefore closed the investigation into this matter.”
Babbitt was shot with round from the anonymous officer’s “service pistol” during the Capitol riot in January after she attempted to climb through a broken glass door in the hallway near the “Speaker’s Lobby.” She received aid in the Capitol from a “USCP emergency response team” before she was transported to the Washington Hospital Center where she later died.
Just one day before her death, Babbitt posted on Twitter numerous times in anticipation of the election protest, which turned into a riot.
“Nothing will stop us….they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours….dark to light!” she wrote in a now-deleted tweet.